So, we finally arrive at the last entry of the Dead Island retrospective, just in time for Dead Island 2 to finally release in stores, tomorrow actually, which sounds still kinda crazy to me after that memorable first teaser trailer with Pigeon John’s Da Bomb, but we’re almost there, for real this time.
The only game left is Dead Island Retro Revenge, which was originally released as a bonus game to entice people in buying the Dead Island Definitive Collection, with the main serving of that being the remastered/definitive edition versions of Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, but can also be simply bought on Steam, PSN and X-Box Live for 5 bucks, and it’s actually well worth it.
Which is surprising, because while i do enjoy the Dead Island mainline games, i also fully understand why people hated them (i initially did too), but oddly Retro Revenge i’d say its the unexpected better one of the lot, as it keeps the series tradition of copying someone else’s shtick, but this time they chose One Finger Death Punch as the blueprint, and didn’t overcomplicate it.
But first, the plot, or the tiny narrative that exists to justify the game.
Since Dead Island 2 was just starting his first cycle of development and so there won’t be anything to show anytime soon, Deep Silver figured it was better to keep milking the franchise to keep it relevant in the public eye, so they launched a MOBA style spin-off with Dead Island Epidemic on Steam and a console & PC stealth oriented spin-off, Escape Dead Island.
Since Dead Island Epidemic never left open beta and by 2015 was discountined, i’m not that surprised that people even forgot it ever existed (i learn it was ever a thing only years later by doing some research), but you might have some recollection of Escape Dead Island, developed by Fatshark (Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, Hamilton’s Great Adventure, Warhammer: Vermintide 1 and Vermintide 2) and released for PS3, X-Box 360 and PC.
Playing the X-Box 360 in this case, though i understand the console versions are nigh identical.
Set as a sorta prequel-side story to the original game, Escape Dead Island wants to explain the origins of the first epidemic that kicked off into full zombie pandemic, and puts you in the shoes of Cliff Calo, a rich kid that wants to be noticed by daddy-o by going with two of his friends on the isle of Narapela and doing a report on the origin of the epidemic that spread from the island of Banoi, while also exposing the truth about the big pharma corpo Geopharm.
So yeah, i just found out that 4 days ago Dead Island 2 was yet again delayed, this time though NOT as much as it had already been, so instead of early February it’s now shooting for a late april release, as displayed in the above “delay communication post/image” (which are by now a specific brand of art in themselves), which at least acknowledges how ridiculous (yet fitting, i would add) is for a game that spent 8 years in development hell to be delayed so soon after reemerging as something else entirely.
Which in itself it’s fine by me, i can wait, we can wait at this point (and it’s also savvy given what’s releasing that month in terms of videogames), but i wish they announced this sooner, as now the original plan for the retrospective on the Dead Island series, with a review each month, it’s busted, so instead of releasing a review of Dead Island Riptide – Definitive Edition at the end of this month, it’s gonna skip November entirely and instead go for a December slot.
Same for the remaining two games (again, i’m not counting the defunct spin-offs Survivors and Epidemic, here is a reminder as of why), so those reviews will come out bi-monthly to coincide with the new release date of Dead Island 2.
Hoping i don’t have to do another of these post by then, who the hell knows.
I started playing this mid-summer for kicks, but what do you know, in early september Dead Island 2 actually resurfaced after 8 years of radio silence, multiple developers change, and it’s coming out… in February 2023. Odd date, but i guess Deep Silver isn’t keen on waiting for a timely summer release, after the game overlong stay in development hell, so much that Techland spun another zombie series after basically being denied work on any Dead Island game after Riptide.
Perfect time for a retrospective of the series as a whole, so let’s start from the original Dead Island, in its Definitive Edition form (which on PS4 and X-Box One came packaged as a collection with the direct sequel Riptide and the spin-off Dead Island: Retro Revenge included).
We’re reviewing this version also because i’ve played Dead Island on PS3 when it was new… and this was indeed one of those games that could have used some enhancing and overhauling, etc.
I guess some history won’t go amiss, but if you happened to… not exist in 2012, you missed one of the most perfect example of misleading, bullshit hype trailers ever made, as originally we were fed a non-gameplay trailer that went for shock value (depicting a dead zombie child, among other things), trying to make you believe the game would treat the topic with some seriousness… only to find out Deep Silver were just being the deceitful liars they are, as we had a game where you combine shit to make fire-laden blades and battery-powered electrical pikes, with a slow-mo effect for when you decapite the plentiful undeads, or crush their rotten brains under your foot.
Since that thing i improvised last October did okay… let’s try to make it a yearly tradition, why not?
8 selected horror reviews sparkled through the whole month, in a pick-n-mix fashion!
Also, starting from October onwards, each month i will have a full lenght, in-depth review for each installment of the Dead Island franchise, with the retrospective culminating on the release of Dead Island 2 in February 2023.
Yeah, since this time we actually have real gameplay footage, Deep Silver isn’t waiting for a topical release date anymore for its zombie game, and wants this out before the unthinkable happens and they’re forced to restart the project from scratch for the 4th time or something.
Or before Goat Simulator takes further piss of that old E3 trailer with Pigeon John’s The Bomb playing to the sprinting dead.
The ONLY game i won’t be reviewing it’s the smarthphone spin-off Dead Island Survivors, because aside an old EXPRESSO review made in italian years ago (which i’m not unearthing or reusing in any way), i don’t have much written thoughts on it, as i didn’t play it that much when it released, and the game shut down in July 2020, so…
It wasn’t bad either, it was a top down action rpg with tower defense elements, free-to-play with all the shingle that it entails, but it was basically akin to Orcs Must Die, so it’s kind of a shame i can’t revisit it anymore.